Author Topic: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set (GB is live)  (Read 95581 times)

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Offline feng

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[IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set (GB is live)
« on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 00:35:56 »
GB link: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=83442.0

We've come to the conclusion that we'll be providing three layouts for this keyboard as shown below. The only difference between these three layouts is the bottom row. Please keep in mind that the 6x spacebar in layout #2 isn't that hard to find. It comes in most of the full thick PBT keyset I have for sale on geekkeys.com, as well as most  Gateron keysets. I can also source some PBT 6x spacebar in many colors if necessary.

1. 1.5x, 1.25x, 1.5x, 6.25x, 1.25x, 1.25x, 1.0x, 1.0x, 1.0x
2. 1.5x, 1.0x, 1.5x, 6x, 1.5x, 1.5x, 1.0x, 1.0x, 1.0x
3. 1.5x, 1.5x, 7x, 1.5x, 1.5x, 1.0x, 1.0x, 1.0x

109896-0109898-1

VOTE HERE

We'll need you to vote which type of carbon fiber plates you'd prefer for layout #2 and #3, as we'll decide which type of plate we're gonna produce. If you like layout #1, you don't need to vote. If the vote is like 50/50, we'll make two different plates for layout #2 and #3. If it's not, we'll consider making a compatible plate that fits both layout as shown in the 2nd attachment below (the bottom row is separete from the main plate, and it can be installed individually).

109900-2109902-3


A video showing LED swapping

Here's a video showing the firmness of switch


DeeLonG has been preparing for this Smart 68 keyboard set for almost two years. Another product from him would be his aluminum keychain that I introduced to GH about one and a half years ago. Here's the link: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=38841.0
74296-474298-574300-674324-7


The most important selling point for this keyboard: hot-plugging (hot swapping). No soldering needed at all. You can install any MX switches to the PCB slots, and you can change the MX switches anytime you want even while it’s still connected to the computer. After countless testing, you don’t need to worry about their firmness. Once the MX switch is properly installed, it fits stably on the slot. LEDs are hot swappable as well.
74302-874304-974306-10


Another selling point is the carbon fiber plate which goes on the PCB. Carbon fiber is really strong and more flexible than other materials used for keyboard plates such as aluminum, steel, stainless steel, etc. It also provides a new typing experience that you’ve probably never felt before.
74308-1174310-1274312-13


It's also  fully programmable. Instructions will be posted once the group buy starts.


Personally I really like the size of 60% keyboards, but there’s just one important thing missing – arrow keys. You don’t really need them a lot, but once a while they just become essential to use. That’s how the producer came up with the current layout – 68-key. He adds arrow keys and some function keys into the regular 61-key layout.
74314-1474316-15


Here’s a list showing the length of some keycaps
Spacebar - 6.25x
Left Ctrl – 1.5x
Left Win – 1.25x
Left Alt – 1.5x
Right Alt – 1.25x
Right Ctrl – 1.25x
Right Shift – 1.75x

Capslock – you can choose between regular capslock and stepped capslock
74318-16

In the upper right area, the positions of backspace and “~`” key can be switched to the way you prefer.
74320-1774322-18


The FN key was placed on the front side of the keyboard in order to allow your thumb switch faster between FN and spacebar.
74324-1974326-20


Finally, the group buy price for this keyboard set will be around $300.

What’s included:
Aluminum case
PCB
Carbon Fiber Plate
Stabilizer Set


Please post in this thread if you’re interested or you have any suggestions.
« Last Edit: Fri, 15 July 2016, 10:49:51 by feng »

Offline exitfire401

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 00:37:52 »
I like the concept of the folding feet. Not something I've seen in a 60%. I'd probably be down for one. I love the carbon fiber plate and the hot swap option is an amazing feature.
Boards: Kingsaver Complicated Blue Alps |Sprit 60% Transparent MX Clears in Gateron housings with 62g gold Sprit springs lubed and RGB color shifting LEDs | Ducky Shine Zone MX Black with Blue LEDs | Realforce 10AE Variable Silenced

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Offline Halverson

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 00:40:50 »
Wow. Thought I was done with mx keyboards....but that is seriously cool.


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Offline Sent

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 00:41:58 »
I like all the features but the layout is pretty much exactly what Kaliet's 22mini-ex is.  Heh.  That fn key...I can't tell if I'd like it or if it'd bug me with its placement.  I'd still be interested, most likely.  For me, this is the perfect board size.

Offline exitfire401

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 00:42:55 »
Question: are the LEDs hot swappable as well?
Boards: Kingsaver Complicated Blue Alps |Sprit 60% Transparent MX Clears in Gateron housings with 62g gold Sprit springs lubed and RGB color shifting LEDs | Ducky Shine Zone MX Black with Blue LEDs | Realforce 10AE Variable Silenced

B/S/T thread: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55351.0

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Offline feng

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 00:56:20 »
Question: are the LEDs hot swappable as well?
Yes LEDs are hot swappable as well. Sorry I forgot to mention that.

Offline Zeal

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 00:56:37 »
Interesting! Does the FN key also use a Cherry switch? Was the plate also cut on finished carbon fibre, or was it glazed again with resin after the switch cuts?
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Offline exitfire401

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 00:57:27 »
Question: are the LEDs hot swappable as well?
Yes LEDs are hot swappable as well. Sorry I forgot to mention that.

Yup, I'll have to find a way to get one then. This is too awesome to pass up.
Boards: Kingsaver Complicated Blue Alps |Sprit 60% Transparent MX Clears in Gateron housings with 62g gold Sprit springs lubed and RGB color shifting LEDs | Ducky Shine Zone MX Black with Blue LEDs | Realforce 10AE Variable Silenced

B/S/T thread: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55351.0

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Past Boards: Ducky Shine 2 | KBT Pure | LZ Aluminum Skin| HHKB | Realforce 23u |

Offline Halverson

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 00:59:53 »

Question: are the LEDs hot swappable as well?
Yes LEDs are hot swappable as well. Sorry I forgot to mention that.

Yup, I'll have to find a way to get one then. This is too awesome to pass up.

This. Can I have one now? :D
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Offline taylordcraig

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:00:35 »
would buy in a heart beat.
really curious about the fn switch. more deatails plz.

Offline Xenderwind

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:03:16 »
Really liking the idea and how it all looks.  Don't think I'll be getting one myself though as I just bought a viper.
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Offline exitfire401

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:06:01 »
Really liking the idea and how it all looks.  Don't think I'll be getting one myself though as I just bought a viper.

Never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad I missed that sale now.
Boards: Kingsaver Complicated Blue Alps |Sprit 60% Transparent MX Clears in Gateron housings with 62g gold Sprit springs lubed and RGB color shifting LEDs | Ducky Shine Zone MX Black with Blue LEDs | Realforce 10AE Variable Silenced

B/S/T thread: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55351.0

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Offline divito

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:06:19 »
Pretty awesome overall. Will definitely be watching with interest.
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Offline Zeal

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:07:05 »
Assuming the hot swapable switches are like SIP sockets on a PCB, and that switches should still be removable by hand-- How do the switches stand up to swapping out keycaps? Would the switch get pulled out with the keycaps (especially tighter fitting ones like DSA on MX Clear)?
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Offline taylordcraig

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:12:27 »
Assuming the hot swapable switches are like SIP sockets on a PCB, and that switches should still be removable by hand-- How do the switches stand up to swapping out keycaps? Would the switch get pulled out with the keycaps (especially tighter fitting ones like DSA on MX Clear)?

And if I had my board upside-down and gave it a little jostle, would they come lose?
Also, how rigid will the carbon fibre be? Bendable? Still heavy?

Also, is backspace splitable?
Can we move it back in line with the rest of the mods and put tilde on the far right?

Offline Zeal

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:15:29 »
A suggestion for the FN key -- would it be possible to have it aligned with the spacebar? It may not be in the centre of the case, but the staggered alignment with the spacebar seems awkward IMO.
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Offline calavera

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:24:56 »
this is pretty cool. I remember the thread when the concept was introduced some time ago. Glad to see it has come to fruition.

I'm going to assume the space bar is 6.75x?

The bottom row having a mix of both 1.5x and 1.25x is a little iffy but given today's many group buys it should be easier to source a matching set. I also agree it would be visually cleaner if the FN lined up with the space bar.

Offline Halverson

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:29:37 »
What are the color options? Would love something more than the typical black, red, grey or silver. Would love some more vibrant options.
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Offline Heliosphere

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:33:01 »
I like this, it's like a compact 75%. I may get one in the far future. The carbon fiber plate is a nice cherry-on-top too.

Offline feng

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 01:59:49 »
Interesting! Does the FN key also use a Cherry switch? Was the plate also cut on finished carbon fibre, or was it glazed again with resin after the switch cuts?

No the FN key uses a micro switch (usually used on mouse). The plate was cut on finished carbon fiber.

Assuming the hot swapable switches are like SIP sockets on a PCB, and that switches should still be removable by hand-- How do the switches stand up to swapping out keycaps? Would the switch get pulled out with the keycaps (especially tighter fitting ones like DSA on MX Clear)?

The switches are not removable by hand, you'll have to use a tool. Therefore they won't get pulled out with the keycaps.

And if I had my board upside-down and gave it a little jostle, would they come lose?
Also, how rigid will the carbon fibre be? Bendable? Still heavy?

Also, is backspace splitable?
Can we move it back in line with the rest of the mods and put tilde on the far right?

They won't come lose that easily. The carbon fiber is not bendable, it's really strong. The backspace is splitable, check the 2nd picture carefully (where it says In the upper right area, the positions of backspace and “~`” key can be switched to the way you prefer.) and you'll see the tilde key is located on the far right.

A suggestion for the FN key -- would it be possible to have it aligned with the spacebar? It may not be in the centre of the case, but the staggered alignment with the spacebar seems awkward IMO.

That sounds a really good idea. Unfortunaly the producer said we're not able to change the location of the FN key. It's not easy to do. However he said it doesn't affect the efficiency of using the key even though it's not aligned with the spacebar.

this is pretty cool. I remember the thread when the concept was introduced some time ago. Glad to see it has come to fruition.

I'm going to assume the space bar is 6.75x?

The bottom row having a mix of both 1.5x and 1.25x is a little iffy but given today's many group buys it should be easier to source a matching set. I also agree it would be visually cleaner if the FN lined up with the space bar.

The spacebar is standard 6.25x

Offline Elrick

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 02:00:23 »
Wow. Thought I was done with mx keyboards....but that is seriously cool.

Same here, Feng you've done it again here.  Definitely will be buying one to add to my collection  :thumb: .

I think this will be the FIRST keyboard to fit into the casing itself, a real FN key actuation, which is truly untold  :o .  This makes it a unique keyboard about to be sold here on Geekhack, please make it happen soon.
« Last Edit: Wed, 13 August 2014, 02:04:04 by Elrick »

Offline feng

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 02:03:37 »
What are the color options? Would love something more than the typical black, red, grey or silver. Would love some more vibrant options.

We don't know yet what colors wil be available. I hope there're more vibrant options too. Like blue, purple, orange, green? :D

Offline Halverson

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 02:05:13 »

What are the color options? Would love something more than the typical black, red, grey or silver. Would love some more vibrant options.

We don't know yet what colors wil be available. I hope there're more vibrant options too. Like blue, purple, orange, green? :D

Any of those would be awesome! Very excited for this!

Any idea how long till a GB would be possible to start?
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Offline Sent

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 02:21:53 »
What are the color options? Would love something more than the typical black, red, grey or silver. Would love some more vibrant options.

We don't know yet what colors wil be available. I hope there're more vibrant options too. Like blue, purple, orange, green? :D

Pink, please.

Offline exitfire401

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 02:23:38 »
What are the color options? Would love something more than the typical black, red, grey or silver. Would love some more vibrant options.
blue, purple, orange, green? :D

What are the color options? Would love something more than the typical black, red, grey or silver. Would love some more vibrant options.

We don't know yet what colors wil be available. I hope there're more vibrant options too. Like blue, purple, orange, green? :D

Pink, please.

GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT!!!!!!  :thumb:
Boards: Kingsaver Complicated Blue Alps |Sprit 60% Transparent MX Clears in Gateron housings with 62g gold Sprit springs lubed and RGB color shifting LEDs | Ducky Shine Zone MX Black with Blue LEDs | Realforce 10AE Variable Silenced

B/S/T thread: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=55351.0

Past projects: KBT Race 2 L.E.
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Offline feng

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 04:07:25 »

What are the color options? Would love something more than the typical black, red, grey or silver. Would love some more vibrant options.

We don't know yet what colors wil be available. I hope there're more vibrant options too. Like blue, purple, orange, green? :D

Any of those would be awesome! Very excited for this!

Any idea how long till a GB would be possible to start?

I'm still working on it. I think I'll let Massdrop handle this group buy since the factory requires 100 pcs MOQ and it's hard for me to make it happen on my own. If everything goes well, we might be able to see the group buy starting in 3 weeks.

Offline LechnerDE

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 04:11:33 »
Awesome board!

Will be hard NOT to buy it :p

300$ will be another serious blow to my wallet though :(

Offline clacktalk

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 04:23:26 »
Very interested! I thought a 75% layout would be my first custom, but daaaaaaaamn I am so into this. I'm looking forward to your updates :]
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Offline Halverson

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 04:41:17 »


What are the color options? Would love something more than the typical black, red, grey or silver. Would love some more vibrant options.

We don't know yet what colors wil be available. I hope there're more vibrant options too. Like blue, purple, orange, green? :D

Any of those would be awesome! Very excited for this!

Any idea how long till a GB would be possible to start?

I'm still working on it. I think I'll let Massdrop handle this group buy since the factory requires 100 pcs MOQ and it's hard for me to make it happen on my own. If everything goes well, we might be able to see the group buy starting in 3 weeks.

Just hope massdrop can make a quick turnaround once it starts!

Thanks for the info Feng!
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How can you believe that I'm not a waste of space?
Oh I'm sorry to disappoint, I seldom save face.
But how can I speak your language
when I don't know my own....

Offline MythicalWagyu

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #29 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 07:47:14 »
Wow, this is super cool! I'm going to have to start saving, I want one of these in my life  :cool:
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Offline osi

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 07:53:09 »
Very cool concept especially with the voodoo magic of hot swapping components like that.


Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 08:03:11 »
Ha, this is great. Hot swappable 22-EX layout!
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Offline njfn

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #32 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 08:26:50 »
i am very interested in this keyboard
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Offline Data

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #33 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 08:27:15 »
This is a cool idea.

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #34 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 09:07:49 »
This is impressive simply for the hot swappable switches if nothing else. We need more of this technology.

Offline JinDesu

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #35 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 09:12:11 »
I'm interested, at least for the swappable switches.
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Offline mashby

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #36 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 09:21:32 »
Definitely interested. I just hope my wallet can recover in time.

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #37 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 09:27:02 »
Holy sh!t, this is awesome.  Consider me interested.

This is also the best compact keyboard I have ever seen on here.
« Last Edit: Wed, 13 August 2014, 09:31:22 by prdlm2009 »
Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #38 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 09:31:46 »
This is impressive simply for the hot swappable switches if nothing else. We need more of this technology.

Yes.  More of that technology.
Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline taylordcraig

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Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 10:05:51 »
Sad about the fn key being centered on the case instead of in line with the space bar, but that's okay.
Sorry I missed the picutre and comment about the layout, too excited for the board.  :-[
About the colors: I doubt we could make MOQ on funky colors, not everyone wants vibrant. [unless MOQs were much smaller than the board itself]
I had something else to say but I'm very tired.
Take my money.

edit: is it possible to have 3 1u keys where backspace is? or one has to be 2u?

Offline geniekid

  • Posts: 899
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 10:29:34 »
I think a 60% layout would be better for this board.  Why not take advantage of the super accessible Fn key?  Fn+IJKL is the perfect replacement for the arrow keys.  It seems a shame to make this keyboard wider for dedicated navigation keys when the great Fn placement is begging to be used instead.

With regard to hot swappable/solderless switches,  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Offline ccc24

  • Posts: 256
  • Location: San Diego, USA
  • HHKB , Ergodox
Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 11:01:52 »
So do we need to buy plate mounted switches with diodes already in them?

Offline vivalarevolución

  • Posts: 2345
  • Location: Naptown, Indiana, USA
  • Keep it real b/c any other way is too stressful
Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #42 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 11:13:54 »
So do we need to buy plate mounted switches with diodes already in them?

Good point.  Maybe the plan is for those to be soldered onto the PCB.
Wish I had some gif or quote for this space, but I got nothing

Offline taylordcraig

  • Posts: 1326
  • Location: BC, Canada
  • New Keyboard Enthusiast [needs to learn to solder]
Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #43 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 17:24:29 »
Final question,
is it all programmable-- Can I change those fn keys under delete to pg up/pg dwn?
Can I split back space to two 1u keys?
I think I'm sold.

Offline RED-404

  • Posts: 208
  • Location: 🌎 🇺🇸 Kansas…
Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #44 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 17:41:13 »
I really like the idea of this but won't likely be able to afford it for a while.

Defiantly needs to be fully programmable I for one would reperpus the entire nav cluster and replace Caps Lock with a FN layer if possable. It's not the best for everyone, but for me having FN instead of capslock is working great on my Poker II.
« Last Edit: Wed, 13 August 2014, 17:47:30 by RED-404 »

Offline Latin00032

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 2007
Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 21:55:06 »
This is awesome!

Two years? That's dedication.

Offline quake4mhg

  • Posts: 559
  • Location: BC, Canada
Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #46 on: Thu, 14 August 2014, 02:30:05 »
Awesome hot-swap design! Too bad I can't use 60%, waiting for 75% in the future  :thumb:

Offline WOTRJWGZD

  • Posts: 1
Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #47 on: Thu, 14 August 2014, 06:45:24 »
Definitely interested but I would only spend up to 250.

Offline okwchin

  • Posts: 190
  • Location: Australia
Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #48 on: Thu, 14 August 2014, 07:30:01 »
Omg, this is my next board! (and more if it can do more

1)
So, with the layouts. I see the bottom row has
1.5, 1.25, 1.5, 6.25, 1.25, 1.25, (arrows 1, 1, 1)

In another photo with the screen in it
1.25, 1.25, 1.25, 6.75, 1.25, 1.25, 1.25, (arrows 1, 1, 1)
With the difference being the larger spacebar and the extra modifier on the right.

a) Is this layout possible too? or it is only a developmental example.
b) does the PCB support multiple bottom row layouts? and what can it support?) -
c) Is there a photo of the (final) PCB, which should answer the above 2 questions.

2) Remapping support - will it support remapping the Fn Key to any of the conventional keys?

3) You said the Fn button was a momentary tactile button (conventional mouse type). Will this be soft enough to press without moving the keyboard along the table?


Offline qwack

  • Posts: 319
  • Location: ISO FR
Re: [IC] Smart 68 Keyboard Set
« Reply #49 on: Thu, 14 August 2014, 07:34:43 »
Awesome concept. The full set will be too expensive for me (I'd gladly have taken one PCB and perhaps a plate, although I'm not too fond of carbon fiber), but I hope you'll be able to reach the MOQ. This project really deserves it.

I've been using custom footprints for IC pads on PCB to allow for easy hot-swapping without a socket for a while, but it looks like you brought it to the next level. I'd be curious to know what kind of inserts you are using, but I understand if it's something you don't want to talk about too much  ;D In any case, I love the fact that with your system, switches can easily be removed with an IC extractor.

Also, what kind of control will the user have over backlighting — how many levels of brightness, setting saved when powered off/on?

Pure Pro w/MX Red - [review]